The Boston Bombings and Twitter

Since the launch of Twitter in 2006 there have been 17 reported acts of Terrorism on U.S. soil. Many go unnoticed in our day to day lives, but one stands out. Following the events of The Boston Marathon Bombings last April the Twittervese exploded. With over 12 million tweets in 12 hours with the word “Boston” the nation, and even the world, were glue not to the TV for news and updates, but Twitter.

On April 15th the Nation was shaken by senseless violence. Violence that the United States hasn’t seen in about 12 years. Two young Chechen brothers plotted and executed a terrorist act in Boston that left 3 dead. 264 injured and an entire nation shattered. Hendometer.com gauges the “happiness”of Twitter on a day to day basis. April 15th, 2013 stands out as the saddest day in 5 years.

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When it comes to the good and bad of this event dealing with Twitter there isn’t much grey. With millions following the action and tweeting as well, lots of information was flying around. Within that information was numerous tweets with misinformation on a number of subjects. While everything posted could sound authentic and seem plausible, nearly nothing was proven or verified.

Three days later the Tsarnaev brothers led Boston P.D. on a chase that read from a Tarantino film. Again, the world was hooked. I was on of the millions who was fixated on the movements of the Police and the suspects and that night one this stood out to me. TV was no longer a viable resource for up to the second news and information that we as a society craves. Broadcasts were consistently 10-20 minutes behind what I already knew. Obviously there are hoops to jump through from that media, but for a culture that thrives on the “NOW”, this was a massive revelation for many.

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This tweet my Matt Roller sums up the situation beautifully. So much of what was being relayed to the general public was fantastic information, but sifting through what is true and what is not can be difficult sometimes. Being informed is one thing, being involved is another. To be irresponsible is wrong.